Readers’ Place

2016 Pulitzer Prize Winners in Literature

The Pulitzer prizes for literature have been recently announced. The following prizewinning  titles are available, or will be shortly, at Maplewood Memorial Library.

Barbarian DaysBarbarian days: a surfing life  by William Finnegan, 2014. BIOG Finnegan
Arriving on Oahu from California at 13, in the mid-1960s, Finnegan discovered that Hawaiian public school students weren’t particularly welcoming to haoles; surfing brought him acceptance and contentment, and would remain central to his life for the next half century. In the late 1970s, he set out in pursuit of a perfect wave, and spent five years circumnavigating the globe with long stops in Polynesia, Australia, Thailand, Indonesia, and South Africa. The social inequality he witnessed led him to journalism, but after his return to the U.S. and fatherhood, the waves still beckoned, even if that meant enduring a January swell off Long Island.

SympathizerThe sympathizer   by Viet Thanh Nguyen, 2015. FIC Nguyen This novel begins with its nameless protagonist, a highly placed young aide to a general in the South Vietnamese army, recalling how he finalized the details of escape before the fall of Saigon. But our hero is a double agent, a communist sympathizer who will continue to feed information to the North even after he makes the harrowing escape on the last plane out, and becomes part of the Vietnamese refugee community in Southern California. Breathtakingly cynical, the novel has its hilarious moments; the reader will especially enjoy Nguyen’s take on 1970s American life.  The Sympathizer will be the September selection for the Read Around the World book club.

Black FlagsBlack flags: the rise of ISIS by Joby Warrick, 2015. 956.9104 War
The American invasion of Iraq in 2003 catapulted Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to the head of a vast insurgency. Like-minded radicals saw him as a hero resisting the infidel occupiers and rallied to his cause. Their wave of brutal beheadings and suicide bombings continued for years until Jordanian intelligence provided the Americans with the crucial intelligence needed to eliminate Zarqawi in a 2006 airstrike. But his movement endured, first called al-Qaeda in Iraq, then renamed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, seeking refuge in unstable, ungoverned pockets on the Iraq-Syria border. As the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, ISIS seized its chance to pursue Zarqawi’s dream of a sweeping, ultra-conservative Islamic caliphate.

Compiled by Ina Rimpau



Posted by Barbara | 26 Apr 2016 | Comments Off on 2016 Pulitzer Prize Winners in Literature

Do you miss Downton Abbey?

Do not be distraught at the end of Downton Abbey! To fill the void, you can turn to books: books about the fictional Downton Abbey, histories of estates that were models for the series, and novels that, like the TV series, explore the intricacies of the British class system.

lady catherine


Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the real Downton Abbey  by Fiona, Countess of Carnarvon, 2013.         941.082 CAR



Below stairs


Below stairs: the classic kitchen maid’s memoir that inspired “Upstairs, downstairs” and “Downton Abbey”  by Margaret Powell, 2012. BIOG P8851



world of downton abbey


The world of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes, 2011. 791.457 Fel




Lady almina and the real downton abbey


Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey: the lost legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona, Countess of Carnarvon, 2011. 942.2 Car



Song of hartgrove hall


The song of Hartgrove Hall: a novel  by Natasha Solomons, 2015. FIC Solomons




fortune hunter


The fortune hunter by Daisy Goodwin, 2014. FIC Goodwin




American heiress


The American heiress by Daisy Goodwin, 2011. FIC Goo






Snobs  by Julian Fellowes, 2005. FIC Fellowes




Ina Rimpau


Posted by Barbara | 17 Mar 2016 | Comments Off on Do you miss Downton Abbey?

Ideas Festival Reading

March brings the Ideas Festival to Maplewood, where we get to meet fabulously talented people who turn out to be our neighbors! Here are some recently acquired titles that tie in with this year’s presenters:

Big Book of Maker SkillsThe big book of maker skills: tools & techniques for building great tech projects  by Chris Hackett MAKER YA 621.9 HAC
Readers learn classic, tried-and-true techniques from the shop class of yore–how to use a metal lathe, or pick the perfect drill bit or saw–and get introduced to a whole new world of modern manufacturing technologies, like using CAD software, printing circuits, and more. Step-by-step illustrations, helpful diagrams, and exceptional photography make this book an easy-to-follow and easy-on-the-eyes guide to getting your project done. Available at the Hilton Branch.

Strip your stashStrip your stash: dynamic quilts made from strips: 12 projects in multiple sizes from GE designs by Gudrun Erla 746.46 ERL
Precut fabric is popular with quilters, and this book focuses on one of the best-known precuts-the two-and-a-half inch strip, aka a jelly roll. Erla explores the possibilities of this simple shape in 12 quilt projects that use such strips as the focal fabric. The projects are divided into three groupings-Controlled Colorway, which uses coordinating strips for effect; Distinct Blocks, which features strips as the basis of larger blocks; and Scrap Crazies, which allows quilters to go wild with their leftovers. The projects include quilts in diverse sizes, with most ranging from crib to queen, and there are abundant illustrations and diagrams to guide quilters through the process.

Bottom-of-the-33rdBottom of the 33rd: hope and redemption in baseball’s longest game by Dan Barry 2011 796.357 Bar
New York Times columnist Barry, winner of this year’s Maplewood Literary Award, provides a charming, meditative portrait of a minor league baseball game that seemed to last forever. Because of a rule-book glitch, the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings played for 33 innings on a chilly Saturday night into the Easter morning of 1981. Using the game as a focal point, Barry examines the lives and future careers of many of the players, including the then unknown Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken. Barry also profiles the Red Sox team owner, the fans and workers, and even the stadium and the depressed industrial town of Pawtucket, R.I. The game gives Barry ample opportunity to explore the world that surrounds it. The three decades that have passed since the game allow Barry to track the arc of entire lives, adding emotional resonance.

Compiled by Ina Rimpau

Posted by Barbara | 25 Feb 2016 | Comments Off on Ideas Festival Reading

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